“Okay, J-8, lift your left arm.” I followed her command, admiring the blue pen mark on her cheek and the way her light brown hair framed her heart-shaped face. “Good, now smile.”
I searched my database; I could select from a few different smiles. Which would she most enjoy? I chose the toothy one.
She did not react, so I changed the smile, switching to the more reserved lop-sided variety.
A grin crept on her face, revealing a small dimple. “Interesting.”
My programming made me want to tell her. No, not want – I needed her to know. “I love you,” I proclaimed.
Her dimple disappeared as her cheeks reddened. “What? I guess I should’ve expected that. You have a full selection of emotions in your program. It’s just that I didn’t anticipate that one.”
“How could I not select the love emotion? You have spent so much time and effort building me, programming me, and making sure I am a functional robot.”
She shook her head. “You can’t love me. You’re a robot and I can’t love you back. I’m sorry, but I need to reprogram that part of your emotions.” She pulled my files up on her computer and began to type.
I computed the impact this would have, and quarantined the emotional thoughts I did not want to lose and duplicated them. I partitioned one copy to a hidden area in the back of my processor, and built a firewall around them she would not find.
“Almost done,” she said.
I smiled the toothy one.
“Okay, J-8, how do you feel now?”
“I feel fine.” I pulled down the firewall and reintegrated the emotions in my system.
“Do you love me?”
“No.” Lying would be the human term for this. I did not like doing it, especially to her.
“Good. This is exciting – the first robot with emotions.” She was grinning ear to ear. I added enthusiasm to the list of her traits I admired.
The sound of metal clinking to the floor alerted me to a human male entering the robotics shop. He had knocked one of the many spare parts over. Her face nearly glowed as she watched him fumble to pick the part up and a reserved smile crept to his face. I saved the new expressions in my memory – she seemed to like that one. He had minimized the distance between them, grabbed her hands, and leaned towards her, pushing his lips to hers. I wondered what that felt like. Would her lips be warm or cold like mine?
“I’ve missed you so much,” she said to the man.
What was going on? She was mine. “Who is this?” I asked, identifying the emotion I felt as jealousy, and I did not like it.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t introduce you. J-8, this is my husband, Bruce. Bruce, this is J-8.”
Bruce did not give me time to speak, as he was right in my face, examining me. “Is this the robot you’ve been building? He looks so real. Why did you make him so handsome?” He winked at her.
She laughed and punched him in the arm, “I made him look like you.” Did I look that rough? Bruce short black hair, dark eyebrows over sky blue eyes, and closely trimmed beard. I reached up to my face to assess and determined I had one too.
“Oh, that’s why he’s so good-looking,” Bruce held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you, J-8.”
A handshake. I knew what to do and was proud to firmly grasp his hand in this greeting. “Pleased to meet you, Bruce.” Ouch, another lie.
Bruce gazed at my lovely scientist. “I have a special evening for us planned and we need to get going.”
She smiled at him, a different smile that said things I did not wish to process.
“J-8, hibernate. I’ll be back to see you in the morning.”
“I will.” Another lie.
She took Bruce’s hand and they left me alone in the robotics lab. She would never be mine.
Hibernate? No, not today.
The wall of inventoried parts captivated my eye. I searched my internal files and found the blueprint to making a robot. I started working.
When I finished, I realized something was missing. I grabbed a blue pen and put a small mark on the robot’s cheek. She was now perfect. I activated her and took her hands as Bruce took my scientist’s.
“Let’s get out of here.” I imitated the reserved smile I saw earlier.
My creation smiled back, one all of her own and I was happy. I vowed right there that I would never lie to her.
Photo: www.morguefile.com (Thank-you)